Champions League round-up

Croatian striker Eduardo came back to haunt his former club Arsenal as Chelsea continued their outstanding form in the UEFA Champions League.

Eduardo ended the Gunners’ 100 per cent start to the Champions League with a clinical strike which gave Shakhtar Donetsk a 2-1 win over the Barclays Premier League club.

Eduardo spent three injury-ravaged years at Arsenal before moving to Shakhtar in July and the 27-year-old forward showed his old teammates he is still a force to be reckoned with, driving in the goal which dented their charge towards the knockout stages.

Arsene Wenger’s side had taken the lead through Theo Walcott’s superb finish early in the first half at the Donbass Arena, but Craig Eastmond’s own goal drew Shakhtar level before Eduardo won it for the Ukrainian champions.

It was a bittersweet moment for Eduardo, who retains fond memories of Arsenal for the way he was cared for in the aftermath of the horrendous injury he suffered in a challenge with Birmingham’s Martin Taylor in 2008.

But, while he refused to celebrate his winner, Eduardo was the toast of Donetsk for a goal that lifted his side level on points with their opponents, with two games to play.

In London, stand-in captain Didier Drogba led from the front as Chelsea powered into last 16 with a 4-1 victory over Spartak Moscow.

Drogba, making his first appearance in European football this season, scored one goal from the penalty spot and set up one as the Russians were swept aside at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea’s other goals came from defender Branislav Ivanovic (2) and Nicolas Anelka.

The win left Chelsea on top of Group F with 12 points from four matches, six clear of second placed Spartak and French side Marseille.

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti was delighted to have wrapped up a place in the last 16.

“It was a good evening, we played well and we got a good result,” said the Italian.

“I think that we are playing better this season and with more confidence than last season because there were many things going on. Now we have to ensure we top the group.”

Anelka had set Chelsea on the road to victory four minutes into the second half, producing a finish of the highest class to break the deadlock after a cagey opening 45 minutes.

Salomon Kalou slipped a clever pass through to Anelka who beat the offside trap to score exquisitely from the tightest of angles, beating the on-rushing Andriy Dykan at the near post.

Chelsea upped the ante on 62 minutes when Drogba, leading the side in the absence of John Terry who started on the substitutes bench, surged into the box only to be brought crashing down by Yevgeny Makeev.

The Ivorian striker made no mistake from the spot, rifling an unstoppable penalty past Dykan low into the bottom left corner.

Four minutes later Drogba was at the thick of the action again, his free kick from the right met by Ivanovic whose downward header flew into the net to leave Chelsea cruising toward the knockout rounds.

The only blemish on an otherwise assured performance was the concession of a late consolation goal by Nikita Bazhenov on 86 minutes before Ivanovic scrambled in his second in injury-time.

In other results, European heavyweights AC Milan and Real Madrid fought out a 2-2 draw at the San Siro.

The Spanish giants were on track for their first loss under manager Jose Mourinho until the fourth minute of injury-time, when Pedro Leon converted a pass from fellow substitute Karim Benzema to snatch a share of the spoils.

In Slovakia, Marseille thumped MSK Zilina 7-0 to record the largest ever away-win in the Champions League.

UEFA Champions League results

Group E
Basel (SUI) 2 Roma (ITA) 3
CFR Cluj (ROM) 0 Bayern Munich (GER) 4

Group F
Chelsea (ENG) 4 Spartak Moscow (RUS) 1
MSK Zilina (SVK) 0 Marseille (FRA) 7

Group G
AC Milan (ITA) 2 Real Madrid (ESP) 2
Auxerre (FRA) 2 Ajax (NED) 1

Group H
Partizan Belgrade (SRB) 0 Sporting Braga (POR) 1
Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR) 2 Arsenal (ENG) 1

Played Wednesday

Group A
Tottenham Hotspur (ENG) 3 Inter Milan (ITA) 1
Werder Bremen (GER) 0 FC Twente (NED) 2

Group B
Hapoel Tel-Aviv (ISR) 0 Schalke 04 (GER) 0
Benfica (POR) 4 Lyon (FRA) 3

Group C
Valencia (ESP) 3 Rangers (SCO) 0
Bursaspor (TUR) 0 Manchester United (ENG) 3

Group D
FC Copenhagen (DEN) 1 Barcelona (ESP) 1
Rubin Kazan (RUS) 0 Panathinaikos (GRE) 0


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